Beautiful Passages from Nei Jing: Fetal Development

Nei Jing is thousands of years old, yet here is an astounding description of fetal development that includes aspects of eastern medicine, specifically the meridians.

The meridians are the foundation of the body.  This importance is poetically described by Huang Di himself in the beginning of Ling Shu, chapter ten.  The young doctor Lei Gong begins the discussion when he asks the following question;

禁服之言,凡刺之理,经脉为始,营其所行,制其度量,内刺五脏,外别六腑。愿尽闻其道。黄帝曰:人始生,先成精,精成而脑随生,骨为干,脉为营,筋为纲,肉为墙,皮肤坚而毛发长,谷入于胃,脉道以通,血气乃行。雷公曰:愿卒闻经脉之始生。黄帝曰:经脉者,所以能决死生,处百病,调虚实,不可不通。

“[Ling Shu, chapter forty-eight, entitled] ‘Jin Fu’ states, every acupuncture theory begins with the meridians, [they] circulate the nutrients, traverse and regulate every measure of the body, internally can treat the five zang organs, and the external fu organs.  I wish for you to thoroughly explain this to me.”  Huang Di replies, “[When] human life begins, first there is the combination of the essence [of both parents], the essence becomes the brain marrow, the bones form, the vessels begin to deliver nutrition, the sinews begin attaching, the muscles form like walls, the skin solidifies and the hair develops, food then enters the stomach, the meridians are able to go through, transporting blood and qi.”      Lei Gong asks, “Can this lowly servant hear about the meridian’s origins?”  Huang Di answers, “The doctor [that knows] the meridians, can determine if the patient will live or die, they can tell which of the many diseases the patients has, they can regulate deficiency and excess [conditions], and tell if the meridians are flowing properly.”    
The meridians are distributed throughout the body.  Every part of the body is connected through the meridian system, from the innermost organ, to the outer surface of the skin.  The doctor, by using the needle to pierce the skin to reach the acupuncture points of the meridian, is then able to touch the associated organ at the same time.  This is how acupuncture is able to treat minor aches and pains, Re Bing, as well as any internal medical disease. 

Published by Raul Ramirez, L.Ac., Ph.D.

Physician, Catch Wrestler, Kickboxer, Vegan, Progressive

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